The Times – Seven Paris attackers slipped into Europe as refugees

Hard-hitting report by Bojan Pancevski on how many of the Paris attackers used the Balkan route through Hungary in the summer of 2015, with some uncomfortable truths for well-meaning liberals. He writes:

Nearly all of the Isis terrorists that hit Paris last year arrived in Europe disguised as refugees. As it became clear that thousands of people can enter the EU without any checks, Isis sent a scout to map the Balkan route in June, and then they infiltrated their hitmen between August and October. Some of them then went on to commit the Brussels attacks last March.
The majority were European-born jihadists who joined Isis in Syria and then returned to attack their homelands.
Last year, politicians and pundits were at pain to explain how this would not happen, but it is now clear that the atrocities in Paris and Brussels were made possible by the giant migration influx in late 2015.
Many more jihadis who used the same route are believed to be in Europe, waiting to commit new attacks.
They were all on terror watch lists or even charged, and could have returned only with fake passports/visas – a sophistication which still seems to be out of their reach. Otherwise they would not have used the migration route. Note the most came in between late August and mid October.

Thanks to Adam LeBor for the tip and this preamble.

Bojan Pancevski (@bopanc) – Seven Paris attackers slipped into Europe as refugees

October 2 2016, 12:01am, The Sunday Times

The majority of the suspected Isis terrorists linked to the November 2015 attacks in Paris entered Europe pretending to be refugees, Hungarian security officials have revealed.

Seven of the nine attackers, who killed 130 and injured 368 people, passed through Hungary in last year’s uncontrolled wave of mass migration.

They were among 14 members of Isis terror cells that used Hungary as a gateway to western Europe.

Some others took part in the subsequent attacks in Brussels that claimed 32 lives in March this year.

Hungary’s counterterrorism centre revealed last week that Isis had set up a “logistics hub” in the country in the summer of 2015, taking advantage of the opening of Europe’s borders to infiltrate fighters trained in Syria. General Zsolt Bodnar, the deputy counterterrorism chief, said the investigation undertook a detailed examination of mobile phones used by the suspects.

The cell co-ordinated its movements with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian-born suspect who was killed by police in the aftermath of the atrocity. It found Abaaoud first sent a scout, named only as Bilal C, to “map” the so-called Balkan route in July 2015. Bilal C entered Hungary on July 16 last year, reporting back to Abaaoud via social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp. He later went to Germany, where he was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Most of the suspected terrorists were European-born fighters who joined Isis in Syria. Although their names were listed in terrorist databases, the cell used the migration influx to slip back into Europe alongside Syrian refugees.

Bodnar also revealed that Ayoub el-Khazzani, who attacked passengers on a Thalys train connecting Brussels and Paris in August 2015, passed through Hungary posing as a Syrian.

The Isis operatives carried fake Syrian passports and were “well-trained” in covert communications, Bodnar said. They frequently changed mobile phone cards and would set up and then delete Facebook profiles every day to get orders from their handlers in Raqqa, Isis’s Syrian stronghold.

Salah Abdeslam, the Belgian Isis planner who is awaiting trial in Paris, made four trips to Hungary in August and October 2015. During these visits he picked up at least nine terrorists linked to the Paris and Brussels bombings. They were named as Bilal Hadfi, Chakib Akrouh, Mohamed Belkaid, Najim Laachraoui, Sami Amimour, Omar Mostefai, Mohamed Aggad, Mohammad Almahmoud and Ahmad Almohammad. Other suspects were not named.

The evidence was passed on to French and Belgian prosecutors who visited Budapest last week.


Read more in swedish here

Related article also in swedish here